What does the law say about asbestos?

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 prohibit asbestos from being imported, supplied or used.

What does the law say about asbestos?These regulations updated the previous set from 2006, which had brought together three separate pieces of asbestos-related legislation.

All businesses are affected by the legislation because prohibition happened only relatively recently. Blue asbestos (crocidolite) was banned in 1985, followed by brown asbestos (amosite) in 1989, but white asbestos (chrysotile) was still in use as late as 1999. Therefore, business premises built before the total ban may contain materials made of asbestos.

The legislation states that there is a duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises. The person with this duty is the person responsible for the maintenance and repair of the premises, i.e. the owner or leaseholder.

In practice, managing asbestos will probably be considered, quite rightly, a health and safety issue. Day‑to‑day responsibility for asbestos will likely fall to the Health and Safety Practitioner within an organisation.